From the right angle at the bottom of the Stardust Field you could be forgiven for thinking a ship was sailing along the top of the hill. Closer inspection revealed that it was, of course, Bestival Radio in its usual prime position up above the action on the main stage. The nautical decor may have suited the cabin perfectly but it was the crew inside, from headline artists to the regular team that made this year such a special one at Bestival Radio.
The action on the airwaves started as always with the Thursday breakfast show with the right honorable Rev. Milo Speedwagon easing in the festival’s early arrivals with traffic, weather and that unique brand of Speedwagon joie de vivre that only the man himself can provide. Highlights from the rest of the day included the mighty Mixhell dropping in before their set in the Big Top and of course Wall of Sound’s Mark Jones who’s perfect selection of electro was preceded by the usual game of cat and mouse to track him down on site. Bass house pioneer T Williams almost missed his slot but made up for it with a cracking guest spot on the Reprezent show, with all round legend Justin Robertson also dropping in for a chat.
Friday morning started with a team effort to inflate a large rubber boat, which over the course of the weekend was signed by all the artists as well as providing a handy spot for sleeping and just a touch of sliding down a wet hill wearing a fish costume. Dog is Dead were the first band to sign the vessel, also sporting some rather fetching hats, complete with sailors beards. The hats also made frequent appearances across the weekend, perhaps never more memorably than when Drenge wore them whilst playing tin whistle in to a beer can later than afternoon, spiritual stuff. Musically speaking Friday’s roster was pretty stellar, the aforementioned two artists being joined by Roska & Jamie George, Room Service, Jagwa Ma, Prince Fatty, Senseless Records and more. Wayward Music also deserve a mention for both a cracking selection and best interview answer of the weekend, it went something like this:
Bestival Radio: If you were shipwrecked what one item would you save from the boat?
Wayward: The hummus!
No comment needed on that one, moving swiftly on Saturday was one of the strongest musical line-ups in the station’s history. From Artwork to Franz Ferdinand, Simian Mobile Disco to Hot Natured it was a huge slice of the best Bestival had to offer and made for a whole lot of radio gold. Bestival Radio’s Shan is the regular producer for Artwork’s legendary show on Rinse so the in studio antics were running
at a very high level from early in the afternoon. That vibe carried on through to Dollop, Lulu James and the one and only Barry Ashworth for the rest of the daytime shows.
As the evening kicked in Franz Ferdinand dropped in for an unexpected but amazing deep dub and reggae selection before a quick trip over to play one of the headline sets on the main stage. Later on DJ Yoda was in the studio with Coco Cole for the Best of Bestival show before 15 year old Isaiah Dreads touched down for a live session showing wisdom way beyond his years on the mic. One of the Saturday night highlights came from the awesome duo of Hot Natured and Jamie Jones, captain’s hats in place, who romped through an hour of deep disco and house deliciousness all from a seated position, vibes. Simian Mobile Disco brought the bleeps in to the early hours and Sombrero Sound System represented late night for the Sunday Best crew.
Tayo provided one of the more memorable visuals of the weekend by rowing the inflatable boat around back stage rocking a ‘Coming To America 2013’ African prince look, punctuating another amazing Sunday afternoon session. Kicked off by regulars Chris Coco and Pete Gooding, moving through to Hospitality, some seriously on point house music from Tayo and a techno bleeps meets grime session from Mumdance. Late afternoon belonged to Greg Wilson, you just can’t ever go wrong with Greg Wilson on a Sunday afternoon can you?
Jesse Rose kicked off the customary Sunday night rave up with style, culminating with ZTG from Teed dropping techno and electro bombs while people tried to guess who was inside the giant furry fish costume. Then it was over to a Bestival Radio all- star back to back session until the early hours.
We could go on to describe the scene during Monday’s breakfast show, but lets just say the energy was ‘different’. All in all 2013 was another amazing sail through the airwaves of the Isle of Wight and beyond. Catch all the shows archived on Mixcloud at mixcloud.com/bestivalradio and video highlights, pictures and more over here: bestivalradio.tumblr.com. See you next year!

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